It’s not like we needed more snow, but more has
arrived. Unfortunately some friends and I were out on the middle of Shoal Lake, Ontario when a blizzard hit on Sunday. We
were hunkered down in our portables when I decided to venture outside about
1:30 p.m. Visibility was down to about 50 feet and a foot and a half of fresh
snow and drifted on to the road already. Not wanting to get trapped down this
narrow ice road that a commercial fisherman had made we decided to pack up and
head to a safer location.
In our case friend Kevin Siemen and I headed the truck back to Winnipeg since we had already spent a day fishing lake trout on a
different lake. Steven Wintemute of Hooked Magazine and two
buddies decided to stick it out close to bigger ice road on another section of
the lake. We were out after whitefish but heavy snowfall on the lake had
restricted ice roads to a fairly small section of the lake. We ended up fishing
a spot that had no visible structure even though the depth was right at 45
feet. While the bottom was covered with good sized perch, there was not really
anything to hold the whitefish so we managed only two fish that were travelling
through the area.
Shoal Lake last year in the sun
Last year in March we had one of our best days ever
for whities off a main lake point that stair stepped down in the main lake
basin. During the day we caught the fish in about 50 feet of water, but as the
sun started to sink the fish moved up to 35 feet and were extremely active. For
the last hour before we left we had non-stop action with usually each angler
with a fish on at the same time. We caught all the fish on perch colour
Northland Buckshot Rattle spoon, a ¼ ounce in size.
As mentioned Kevin and I were out for the lake trout
the previous day. Kevin spends about 20 days each winter chasing down lake
trout on a variety of different lakes in Northwestern Ontario. The biggest laker
he has landed so far measured 39 inches and was caught on a Buzz Bomb fished
very aggressively. Kevin said the fish just smoked off the bottom and smashed
the lure half way up the water column. Even with a heavy line spooled on a
level wind lure, he was in a for a tremendous battle. That’s the thing about
Kevin, he is organized and fishes with the right equipment so those fish are
We tried a number of different spots this day but only managed
to land two fish while losing two more.
Now that is a snowstorm!
Still it was a fun day and it’s pretty hard not to
enjoy catching a fish that pulls so hard beneath the ice!